When Suddenly No Lives Matter. 

It was a little over two and a half years ago, right before I was about to be married that I was asked the question, “Are you prepared for what you and your family will experience seeing as how you are marrying a black man?” Being a white girl raised in Salt Lake City, Utah I was offended. The man I was speaking with took notice to my offense and simply said “I don’t mean to hurt you, I just wanted to make sure that you were aware that things will be different than I think you are expecting. Things will be harder.” I explained that I was fine and that things were going to be great.

Two and a half wonderful years later, our son is now 5 and our youngest is almost 2 and the woman that I am now often looks back at that day and wishes I could have understood what he meant. I wish I would have understood that my husband would be pulled from his car and handcuffed, placed face down on the ground and arrested while I watched his helpless face, all because he had recently expired tags on his car. I wish I would have known that people would accuse my husband of kidnapping our oldest son because he’s white while simultaneously praising me for being a saint who graciously adopted a little black boy. I wish I would have understood the mean words that can escape someone’s lips when speaking about our mixed little family and the heartache that follows. I wish I would have used that time to consider how I would explain to my boys why people weren’t always nice.

In the past few years, there have been multiple events that have transpired that have caused me to really decide where I stand. I’ve watched and read and talked about men and woman of color being shot and disrespected by law enforcement and I’ve found myself on both sides of the fence. I’ve tucked my babies into bed and watched them sleep and with tears in my eyes I’ve thought, how do I protect you from the world? And I’ve also looked my baby in the eye and said “You better make smart decisions. Safe decisions. No robbing a gas station. No walking down the street swinging a sword around. No rioting. You are to be respectful. You are to be a member of society that contributes to the world. You are to be proud of who you are and your heritage. If you are anything less than these things, you might not come home to me one day.”

I suppose that part of the problem with the world is that once you are White you will never be Black and trying to understand their fear based on their experiences will always be hard for you. I would say that it’s been about 8 years since I had a taillight out on my car. I went over a year without fixing it before my uncle offered to fix it for me, not one day did I ever even think about it. Fast forward to about a month ago when my taillight was out again. Given my experience as a white female in the past, my current self had chosen not to fix it and instead save the money. My husband was crazy paranoid. He talked every day about the need for me to go and get it fixed. He would drive my car always on the lookout for police and in the event that he saw one he would quickly take another road, pull over to the side and wait for them to pass. I wasn’t quiet about my annoyance to his situation often complaining about his need to feel that because he was black the police were always out to get him. He would always patiently respond with “Babe, we just don’t need that problem.” Our taillight is now fixed but as I listened to the news of a man being shot in his car and the initial reason for the stop was a busted taillight I found myself feeling panicked. What if that was us and my lack of respect for his fears would have taken this same turn for the worst? I went to sleep that night wondering what the future looked like for my family but when I woke up the next morning I would only realize that things were about to get worse, not only for my family but for everyone.

The world is full of people. It’s not full of police officers, doctors, teachers, Asians, Hispanics, Males and Females. Our earth is full of people. People who fortunately and unfortunately have the same equal opportunity to decide how they live their lives. It’s full of people who get to make decisions whether they are good or bad. It’s full of people who are affected by those decisions whether they are good or bad. It’s so easy to get caught up in the idea that the problem is US against THEM when the reality is that it’s good versus evil and always has been. People don’t come out of the womb hating their neighbor. Hate is taught and learned. Hate comes from the inside. It’s felt and it lingers. Hate pushes you to find revenge for what you feel is unjust and unfair. Equality is something that we can only hope for and in a perfect world it would exist but the reality is that it doesn’t now and the sad truth is that it’s probably going to be a while if ever.

So what do you do now? Now that 5 police officers are dead because of the bad decisions of other PEOPLE. What has that fixed? How many people are going to bed tonight wishing their loved one had come home, black or white, but because of hate they will never walk in the door? All I keep seeing are officers who are afraid of my husband now more than ever. I see wives begging their husbands not to leave whether they are leaving the house with a badge or black skin. I see parents teaching their children to be afraid of the police instead of teaching them to respect those that put their lives on the line to keep us safe. Or parents who pull their children closer when a black man sits to closely on the bus. Ultimately the difference that I want to see in the world doesn’t come from finding justice for those that have been mistreated and disrespected. It comes from what I choose to teach within the walls of my own home. It comes from raising law abiding citizens that respect those around them. It comes from teaching your children that wrong decisions are coupled with consequences and that life isn’t always fair, it was never meant to be. It’s about seeing people as just that, people. Not as their skin color or what they do for a living. Not as who they choose to marry or what they choose to worship. It’s about seeing people as free humans who choose their life and make their own decisions and then finding peace within what you can control. It’s about showing the world through how you live that they were wrong about what they thought they knew about you. It’s about teaching them that while racism is still alive and well, we are working to teach our kids to grow up expecting a better tomorrow regardless of circumstance.

All lives matter but the truth is that Black lives haven’t always mattered. It is important to place an emphasis on finding solutions to our deepest fears as we watch our loved ones struggle to be treated equally. Violence no matter how oppressed you may feel will never yield the trust and peace filled relationships we yearn for. Taking the life of a father or a mother or a husband or a wife will never bring back what you may have lost. It will not take away your fears and it will not calm your troubled soul. It is not paving the way for any future that we hope to be brighter for us and our children. Hate breeds hate and our only hope left in this world lies within what we can control. Hope isn’t in your Facebook status, your Ksl news article debate or even your good-willed peace protests. It starts at home and it starts with you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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360 thoughts on “When Suddenly No Lives Matter. 

  1. Thank you Chelsie.

    I’ve read so many think pieces recently and started typing, then deleting my own words on more than enough occasions. Your words struck a chord with me more than anything so far.

    Thank you, and your husband, and beautiful children for just existing.

    And thank you again for your beautiful words. peace.

  2. Your words are beautiful and your story is indeed a great one. God bless your family! Somehow reading through your post, I didn’t find hope. I didn’t find reality. I found more of the same, but In a softer sweeter voice. Fear and hate. I know there are many issues in our society and in the world for that matter. I know that life is not fair. But as a minority, we make our own outlooks in life and I am so happy to see so many of my black friends succeed and have no barrier or see no colors in their every life. I know I don’t. If someone has a problem with my skin color is on them. Let’s own our actions and trust in God for our lives. No matter what your color is, we can at any point be subject to racism or ill treatment for any reason. In all my years, I never felt racism. It may it have happened from white or blacks, but I never felt it. I strive to better myself everyday and to trust in the Lord for my life. Whites, black, hispanics and other races have committed many crimes and many people have been their victims of it, among themselves and to other race. That is what to live in a world with many cases. There are people without limbs that have many challenges, there are people with disabilities that experience rejection and abuse, there are situations in life that come at us and we don’t have a way out but to go through it knowing that somehow things work together for good. But never pointing the finger at someone for the outcome of my life. That is all I can do and all the responsibility I have. Live out loud!!!

  3. One problem I have is that you say 5 police officers dead because of people’s decisions? It was one person! He most likely is mentally messed up from his 2 tours in Afghanistan and our government refuses to help veterans returning with mental issues. Black Lives Matter protesters are 99.9% peacefully protesting and bring our attention to these important issues. DO NOT LUMP ONE LONE WOLF GUNMAN INTO A GROUP OF PEOPLE DOING IMPORTANT WORK.

    1. Then please do not lump the hate-filled murder into any group of Veterans. He made a choice based on his paradigm of anger, hatred, and revenge. It had nothing to do with his military service.

      1. You never served, did you. The military are an angry bunch as a general rule. They channel it into discipline and training most of the time but the more they do their jobs, especially the killing and breaking things part, the more that anger has the potential to break out in other ways. J.K. Rowling was right about what murder does to the soul.

        And maybe who winds up in the service self-selects for that type of psyche, ESPECIALLY if they enlist after a major disaster caused by foreign people. There would have been more angry, murderous people in the recruit ranks after Pearl Harbor and 9/11.

        Whatever the issue. You would have to be there and know what you’re seeing.

      2. Dana, you’ve obviously never served in the military either so you should stop pretending that you’re an expert on veterans. I’ve been in the service for over 15 yrs so I’m surrounded by combat vets, which I am also one. People like you are the problem because you want to judge someone on association rather than who they are as an individual.

      3. Dana, you obviously have not served. I have. No veteran gets a free pass for killing anyone like that, no matter what his or her experience was in the military. We are not trained to he hate filled or violent. We are people who with selflessness chose to give up our freedoms and rights as a civilian to serve a higher cause of the American ideals that ALL people have the RIGHT to freedom, liberty, and justice…and we need to do this at home as well as globally. At home is not less or more important than abroad…it is equally important to all people, everywhere…in America and all over the world. People have the right to live free of fear and persecution…and making excuses for injustice is not resolving the issue, and rather contributes to the problem. I am a veteran. I do not agree with you.

      4. Military men and women are not all “an angry bunch as a general rule”. My husband was active duty for nearly 14 years, 10 of which we were married. During those 14 years he saw active combat during 3 tours to Iraq. Never have I seen him angry without cause, for example another nurse doesn’t do their job correctly therefore as the supervisor he now has to fix it. Being a part of the military community was one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had. The people are easier to be around, more accepting, and generally more friendly than the majority of civilians we have encountered during the last year and a half we have been out.
        Additionally, it has been my experience that the majority of these former military members that claim the government has left them to fend for themselves and therefore are refused they help they need are in fact refusing the help offered to them. After 3 tours to Iraq, numerous injuries, TBI, PTSD, ADD, hearing loss, chronic daily pain, etc, my husband gets all the help he asks for through the va. Yes, sometimes that means waiting a month or 2 for an appointment with a specialist or multiple appointments before any conclusions can be drawn. But that is what it takes and it should be expected considering how many people are moving through the same system. There is no magic pill, switch, surgery, etc that will fix the problems. The only thing a veteran can do is be persistent, have patience, be cooperative, be their own advocate, be completely honest, and try anything and everything to find relief. No one is going to hand them the key to satisfaction and completion. It takes work, any type of injury (physical, emotional, psychological) will take work no matter how your injury occurred.
        If he had been able to, his goal was to continue serving for the remaining 6 years, 1 month, and 19 days, but unfortunately physical limitations did not allow for that. So instead of moping around, my husband grasp ahold of the training and skills he learned and the vast number of resources presented to him before he signed his exit paperwork. Resources that included additional training, resume building, job assistance, interview skill classes, mental health care, physical health care, family planning, relocation assistance, etc. Every exiting service member is given these resources, what they do with them is there responsibility.

    2. Amen to this comment. Also, as the mom of half black children myself, I find it a bit disturbing that one would tell a baby (who as I understand is only 2 or 3) not to “rob a gas station…” Does this paragraph indicate that the author believes that is what the black community will teach him to do??

      1. It’s not what I believe my children will do. It’s not what I believe black children are raised to do. And it’s not just what I tell my black child. The point I was attempting to make is that I want my children to understand that poor decisions can end with terrifying consequences. The black community is literally a huge chunk of my heart so I apologize if it seemed as though I was saying that you would raise your child that way because certainly I do not believe that. With both a white child and a half black child I expect my children to make smart decisions unlike some that we have seen in the media. And not even that they justified death for those people, but certainly better decisions can in most cases yield better outcomes. Thank you for your comment.

    3. I’ve seen tons for videos where black lives matter are not protesting peacefully. Yelling at officers in there face and blocking traffic on the highway illegally is not peaceful.

    4. Saying black lives matter protesters protest 99.99 percent peacefully it’s a bunch of bull crap. Half the time you see them yelling in police officers faces and blocking traffic illegally which is beyond stupid.

    5. I think she was referring to the bad decisions of the officers who killed the innocent men in the first place, that set off the retaliation by the lone gunman.

    6. And, police officers are also not violent 99 percent of the time. Unless someone has a gun and they feel their life is threatened. There may be a very small percentage who have racist tendencies, but the vast majority are just doing their job. Lumping all together is just as wrong as classifying any group of people based on the actions of a few.

  4. 20 years ago I married a black man. We have 2 sons 18 and 16. We are no longer married. But in 20 years the only racism was we have experienced is from black people questioning their race. Calling them oreo and Uncle Toms. They have never been stopped by police. We talk about the possibilities though.

      1. I think it is Americans that are more racist than anyone else! I am particularly surprised that Mormons would allow such intolerance. I live in the U.K and although we have many problems we are decades ahead when it comes to issues of race. Nobody gives you funny looks or makes derogatory comments if you are in a mixed relationship – it ‘s no big deal. I’ve never been so glad to be British.

      2. Black people can’t be racist. We can be prejudiced, we can be discriminatory but not racist. The definition of racism is not to hate someone based on skin color but to also hold power over them. And since we are considered minorities we don’t hold the power. White people do. And the hate that you speak of stems back from slavery when we were separated by color. It’s not right but it just goes to show how something as horrific as slavery had such long lasting effects.

  5. What a beautiful article you have written. Thank you for sharing your feelings. How do we get this into the world? They talk about a presidential candidate to unite the country, but that will never work. Politicians always have their own agendas. Your agenda is to raise a loving family in a caring world–that has to come from within the ranks of the people. These types of comments will bring unity from within–we just need to make it grow! Thank you. There is good in our nation and the world!

  6. This was a beautiful article, well intended, but it is just the tip of the iceberg. Being an African American female, there is so much here that concerns me especially from the responses.
    Fortunately these interacial relationships include more people involved and concerned personally for social injustices
    in America. When there is a threat to the health and livelihood of your loved ones because of their complexions you begin to
    see what has been a part of our worries all along.
    You understand how annoying it is to put up with weak excuses, blatant oversights for the differences in the treatment of people based on race.
    There are more things that can be done besides just teaching the next generation to love everybody, always being honest, respectful law abiding citizens.
    We have a responsibility to our states, cities, towns and communities. Our elected officials, can be approached to
    revisit training of officers, possibly including sensitivity to more culturally diverse communities. Other measures may be taken to help the officers dealing with such high level stress.
    To restore trust and respect of police and other authorities, visits to schools with guidance on what to do when pulled over or approached by an officer of the law would help. Most of our youth as well as many adults don’t really know.
    There is a major crises going down in America. We need to pull together and fix it not just sit around pointing fingers, or making excuses for blaming the victims.
    The Death Penalty was put to test back in the early 70’s in most states. The US Constitution gives American citizens the right to bear arms. So why are “some” people being shot repeated for busted tail lights, and other minor traffic violations, identified as a suspect for a crime, allegedly resisting arrest, appearing to possess a firearm?
    The mistakes will continue to be made, hopefully few and far between, but when
    the authorities and our leadership step up, apologize or at least offer condolences and investigate these cases of loss of life instead of a quick cover up with lame excuses, support, trust and peace can be restored.

  7. Your article brought me to tears this evening. I, too, am a white woman married to a black man. We have one son, age 6, who is white. We have made the choice to not have any more children (neither biological nor adopted) due to the state of affairs in our world. I understand all too well your thoughts and fears. My husband has his conceal & carry permit, and my immediate reaction to the case in Minnesota was to ask him not to carry anymore. We talked about it, and came to the mutual decision that if he goes that route, then we are letting fear win. He also was a private investigator and going into law enforcement until an injury halted that dream. He, above all others in my life, sees both sides; through him I understand. In our family, rather than choosing a side, we have chosen love. “Love your neighbor as yourself” has become our mantra. If our example can reverse the hate in just one family or one person, then we have made a difference.

    P.S. You have an amazing, beautiful family! 🙂

  8. I loved this. I have been so naive and had no idea that things were still so unfair. Because I can’t fathom treating someone differently because of their color I’ve had a hard time believing it happens. My eyes have been open. The best line is, “All lives matter but the truth is that black lives haven’t always.” Thank you for sharing this. Your family is beautiful !!

  9. I just want to say I have read your post and I think it is great, it hits home with my family as well. I also want to say how true all of it is, you really wrote from the heart and that counts for so much these days. I have literally been on here for hours reading ever comment, as for the most part everyone was mature and just speaking from their experiences, of course you get the ignorant ones who clearly can see they are part of the problem today. I can see the frustration among African Americans, I also have seen some horrible racism from African Americans, which is understandable but also makes me angry, if you want racism to stop it has to be stopped by everyone you can’t talk about white racist people and turn around and be the same racist way you were just angry about.. We cannot lump all of one race together as in all whites are that way, just as I do not believe all blacks are. I do believe crimes are committed on blacks out of being racist, but there are so many crimes on white people from blacks but noone is saying a word nor rioting n using violence to slove it, in fact it’s never spoken about, it just said to be random crime when it happens, why is that? Why do we not make an up roar over it, it’s because it’s just looked at as a crime not anything to do with race, but if it’s white on black crime it always has to be racial? That I don’t understand.. I have a mixed black/white 8yr old son and I have 2 older kids who are white who see no difference in their brother, they also don’t see color, because I taught them that way, it’s what the person is like not the color. I have seen certain situations where parents stare at us, stare at my daughter because all her closets friends are black or mixed.. I always tell her who cares let them stare, my Mother my kids grandmom is the biggest one who always has things to say, like dont u have any white friends, why do you only have black friends, n how could I let my daughter stay over her friends house meaning cause she’s black. My kids know she was taught this by her parents and she most likely will never change, although she loves my mixed son, it’s mostly because it’s her grandson, people in public will say like oh wow he has beautiful dark skin and she will comment with yea he out in the sun alot, and I will say it’s cause he is mixed because I’m not ashamed and he will not be either.. All I can say is lo e has no color, but racism will be around forever unfortunately, and it’s because we have people from both races still stuck on the past, times always change so people should change also with the times, of course you never forget the past but to move forward you have to leave the past and not dwell on it to where it keeps us from moving forward.. Yes Slavery was horrible, did it happen to you no, was it us that were involved in the slavery no.. None of us were alive then so we need to learn from it move on from it come together so it never happens again.. We also have to realize not everything is about race, I don’t get offended while watching the bet awards saying racism because there no white people, because I know it’s not always about race.. Could it be yes, but am I gonna cry about it and make a scene no. So people of all races let’s stop it and try to find a solution, or it will never change…!!!

  10. Thank you so much for writing this article and for understanding. I definitely appreciate you writing this from a white woman’s perspective and I hope that other white people who read this will try to understand how we as black people feel everyday of our lives. Again, thank you.

  11. I totally agree with you. As a multinational family ourselves it doesn’t matter color of skin or where you’re from, it only matters what happens within the walls of your own home. You will carry that out to the world, whether it’s hope or hate…Thanks for sharing your thoughts! x

  12. Dear Chelsie and all other ‘mixed’ race families (like mine – and isn’t ‘mixed race’ a stupid term?) — my very sincere advice is to run as fast as you can to a truly cosmopolitan community where many colors and backgrounds abound, and where very few people think twice about cultural and skin color differences. Do the research, develop a plan, and get it done. Me, I found (by pure luck) my life in one of the the greatest multicultural cities on earth, Geneva, Switzerland, where we have literally over 150 nationalities represented in a town of 400,000 people, and where over half of the people living here are not even Swiss. And it’s very hard to find a Swiss-Swiss married couple. But you’ll easily find Euro-Asian, Euro-African, Euro-Latin American, etc. couples with hundreds of gorgeous children in our classrooms. Lots of Americans here too, working at the multinational companies like Procter & Gamble who have big offices in Geneva. Many of my American friends tell me they have no intention of ever living anywhere else. It may sound like running away from the place you’ve always called home, but then again, it can also be considered to be running towards a new and shining horizon. Geneva isn’t the only cosmopolitan city around. There are dozens of them, all over the world, even in a few lucky parts of the U.S.. Go for it.

  13. Such a beautiful family in what can be a not so beautiful world.
    I am a white American who understood his privelege long before I ever travelled to be the poorest places in Africa trying to make this world better. I met my wife there. She absolutely sends me. She did from the moment I met her. She is as African as they come. Before she came here to be with me she asked me, “why do they kill black people in America?” Are they going to kill me?” It is heartbreaking. What is even more so is that I lost most of my family when I married her. I had no idea the extent to which racism permeates our society until love joined me to Africa and its race. Our country was not built by Christian principals it was built by the lash and forced servitude. The grandeur of many our capital buildings was in fact carried there upon the backs of African slaves. That’s the ugly truth but we have nothing to fear from the truth because it is the truth that sets us free. Love is the answer. To find love in such a world is about the best thing that can happen to a person. To continue to show love as every response to such great opposition is what will ultimately change the world.

  14. I agree that people are often treated differently based on different factors- appearance, gender etc. I work in construction and run into this at work.
    I have always been color blind, people are people, but as many black people are becoming militant I’m finding myself noticing color more. I was speaking to a black man the other day while waiting for a time-out meal. A TV was on, and they were covering the Dallas situation. I actually became nervous about how hostile he became toward me as the coverage continued, I ended up waiting across the room from him.
    By the way, the taillight narrative was incorrect, Mr Castile happened to match the description of a suspect who had committed an armed robbery in that area the day before. Unfortunately the media and others do a terrible job of verifying information before sharing and sensationalizing it.
    I’m praying that we come together as a country and as one race (human) soon, but it will take open discussion- talking TO each other rather than AT each other.

  15. The only way this going to stop is that we bring God back in the public life. God dose not see color or gender, he only wants the people that he created to Love another and to know that they “Are feafully and wonderfully made”. Yes Black lives matter so all life matters young and old. the Bible says That we should treat others the way we want to be treated. It is sad that some people miss that point that color dose not matter it is your treatment of others. Jesus died for all of us.In Joshua 1-9 God says ” Be strong and Courages. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go”. In Matthew 5: 44 Jesus says to “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you”. Open you hearts Jesus and see what He can do. Please no nasty e-mail this just how i feel.

    1. Are you actually serious?? Slave owners were all devout Christians. They totally believed God made black people to slave for them.

      1. Hello anon74, Linda was just expressing her heartbreak about how we are treating each other. I also hear your frustration as well. When it comes to “real” Christians Jesus gave us an example, “You will know them by their fruits(choices).” There are many pretenders, as there always have been, but make no mistake, they are not following anything taught in the Bible. What people point to in the Bible as, justification for or righteous indignation against, slavery was nothing close to what took place jn America. Just like today, there are many “christians” who justify their choices by a tortured misunderstanding of the Bible. There are also those wishing to disparage the Bible who use this as justification to discredit it. Neither side is truly committed to an accurate understanding of the Truth.

  16. Thank you for your post. Telling your story is a powerful way to reach people’s hearts and bring about the change we need.

  17. I keep reading this because it so well sums up how I feel, being married to a black man as well. I have struggled to communicate how I feel. I live in MN – and my office is just a couple miles from where Philando was killed, on the same road. The day it happened, my husband and I just kept saying to each other, “That could have been you. That could have been us.” We drive down that road all the time, right in that spot. He drives around town for a living so he is always on the road, and always worried about being pulled over. Your post just completely puts into words my life. Thank you so much for giving me this.

  18. Fact: As of July 2016, the breakdown of the number of US Citizens killed by Police this year is, 238 White people killed, 123 Black people killed, 79 Hispanics, 69 other/or unknown race.

    Fact: Black people kill more other blacks than Police do, and there are only protest and outrage when a cop kills a black man. University of Toledo criminologist Dr. Richard R. Johnson examined the latest crime data from the FBI’s Supplementary Homicide Reports and Centers for Disease Control and found that an average of 4,472 black men were killed by other black men annually between Jan. 1, 2009, and Dec. 31, 2012. Professor Johnson’s research further concluded that 112 black men died from both justified and unjustified police-involved killings annually during this same period.

    1. Your statistics are SO of base and disingenuously incorrect it’s flabbergasting.

      In 2014, 2,205 African american people killed other African American people. That’s so far off your stated average could you please cite your source. My source is the FBI Crime Uniform reports.

      Comparing how many or how often white people are killed by police to how many or how often black people are killed by the police is statistically dubious unless you first adjust for population.

      FACT: African American’s make up 13% of the population while Non-hispanic whites make up 62%.

      The fact that half the number of African American’s have been killed by police officers is double what the population statistics are. In fact if it was suppose to be a relativity “fair” and representive to population around 315 white people and 62 African American deaths would be about right.

      FACT: White people also kill white people
      Did you know in 2014 82.4% of white people murdered were murdered by other white people
      Did you know that White people are also far more likely to be killed by white people. (strange same as african americans).
      Did you know that in 2014 more white women murdered people than african american women.

      Context is important with statistics. Understand how they work before you start copying and pasting, quite often you’ll find they don’t mean what you think they mean. You know the old saying 87% of statistics are made up on the spot… including this one. Check your sources before you ruin this woman’s beautiful post about her PERSONAL and LIVED experience with this baloney.

  19. Well, you could move to Southern Alberta, Canada. Especially to one of the small lds communities. Pretty sure nobody would ever bother you. Our police haven’t been through that kind of trauma and they are pretty laid back.

  20. Oh my goodness….I was just reading some other comments and the other ‘Pat’ on there is not me. Yikes!!! Such terrible ugliness and vulgarity. I feel sorry you had to read that. You have a beautiful family and your article was good. I come from a family with several retired police and I worked for a city police years ago. I understand their fear. I also have friends with mixed racial families. I understand their fears as well. (Of course I don’t have to live with that fear so I guess I can only understand it to a point). I wish we could all just be people and treat each other with respect. I think racism has no boundaries. I’ve met racist of all colours. With all the problems the world is having with terrorists these days, I have to remind myself every so often that not all Muslims are bad. So I see how easy it is for any of us to slip into the role of a racists and maybe not even realize it unless we are super aware of how we are perceiving others around us. It’s almost always fear based, don’t you think?

  21. Hi Chelsie, your article ” Suddenly No Lives Matter” is beautiful and a call to action. If you could spare a moment of your time, I would enjoy if i could speak more about the article with you. What is the best way to reach you? My email is snowtracker9@aol.com

  22. Reblogged this on emotanafricana.com and commented:
    Here is another voice, a voice of reason on the oft-distorted and twisted real meaning of “Black Lives Matter”. It’s not that other lives do not matter – it’s been always taken for granted that they do – but the recent slogan – looking at the grammatical implication – is that BLACK LIVES MATTER, TOO. Thanks for this beautiful piece.
    TOLA.

  23. A very beautiful and enlightening piece.

    I think the narrative was deliberately distorted by those who wanted to: politicians, some media and the out-and-out racists. Of course all lives matter but a pithy configuration of slogans always make them simple and attractive and Americans, perhaps more than most English-speakers, like to keep things simple. It worked against a slogan meant to make a point, and make it quickly. People are no longer interested in anything long, hence Twitter’s popularity.

    Black Lives Matter JUST LIKE OTHER LIVES, or Black Lives Matter, too/Black Lives [also] Matter. It’s all semantics. ALL LIVES MATTER.

    Thanks for this beautiful essay which I’ve already shared further.
    TOLA.

  24. Thank you for sharing your experiences. I will never be able to fully understand what others go through, but through learning about those experiences it helps to soften the heart and mind to better understand each other.

  25. I (white European) came to the US in the late 70s with my husband (Black Caribbean) after we met in Europe while he was in the Army there. I was very young but I had already experienced a military hearing that I requested because some white military guys were acting in a racist manner towards me. They only got a slap on the wrist and I was threatened that they would find me and teach me a lesson. So I was well prepared for what I might find in the US as part of an interracial couple. We feared for our lives while camping in the deep South (a mistake we never repeated), a pickle jar was thrown through our apartment window one night – if they had thrown it through the window next to it, we would have been hit by the exploding glass. I was threatened with a knife by a black kid while walking to the bus station. I was shunned by part of the black community that was adamantly against interracial marriage while others treated me as warmly as if I was one of their own. White men couldn’t stand the sight of me with a black man. We constantly had to deal with people’s non-verbal language (you can always see their disapproval in their eyes). We had a hard time at first finding an apartment. But – we made it through. Our daughter grew up in the DC area in a circle of multi-cultural, multi-lingual, multi-national neighbors, teachers, and friends. She is grown up and has a family of her own now. I thought things had gradually changed – but then the Charleston shooting happened and brought all my past memories and fears right back up; mostly now fears for my daughter and her family. I can blend it – that’s white privilege for you. I have seen America as the wife of a black man and I am now experiencing America as the wife of a white man. And these are two entirely different worlds! We have a long, long way to go…. If anyone is truly interested in working on bridging the differences between black and white, find “Coming to the Table”, an organization that promotes racial conciliation.

  26. Sweetie, your thoughts touched my heart. Few people understand that, as you said, black lives haven’t always mattered and that resultant hurt, fear and anger have remained in the psyche of the black man and woman. May God turn the bad into good and heal this land, that we may truly become the one nation under God we shop to be.

  27. I loved what u shared I am a single mom of 3 kids. My two oldest r mixed not black but r of a different race….my youngest is white I love my kids there friends (no matter race) it doesn’t matter cuz all lives matter… do I believe that all cops r good no but neither are people no matter who they r or the color of there skin but even if we don’t like some one it doesn’t mean we should be killing anyone. I am not trying to offend anyone by what I am saying but I just think that all lives matter and nothing is ever going to get better if we don’t ALL change! It’s not just white people that need to I am white and have been judged a lot by other races but we all need to change!!!! My opinion the only person that is going to be able to have an opinion about me is GOD

  28. As someone who lives abroad I can’t really comment on the things that are happening in the US, but I do want to say that you have a really beautiful family!

  29. To the person who asked, “Is it worth it to marry a man/woman of a different race?”
    Um…really??

    Did you think the author of this blog was going to say, “No, it’s not worth it. Don’t do it.”?

    For real, people.

  30. Hi Chelsie, if you look at the video, you will see the tail light was not out or broken. Both tail lights were intact. His girlfriend claimed that’s why they were stopped and lied. He was stopped for matching the description of someone who has just robbed a store.

  31. Chelsie, visit Jamaica 😉 That’s where I’m from. No one understands racism there, and there is no such thing as an “interracial relationship” because everyone is in one. I’m a product of that 🙂 I am West African, Chinese, Irish and German, and my husband is 100% Scandinavian. Interracial relationships are nothing new in Jamaica, were never “illegal”and have been around since the 1800’s. I think you and your family may fall in love with it. ❤

  32. I was reading this article, and I find myself second guessing some of my thinking about how I view the message of racism that is often touted. This article was written from a perspective of somebody who has held the same viewpoint as I have, but has changed due to life experience. I am wondering if in the case of racism towards those with darker skin than mine I have been wrong in saying that it isn’t have prevalent as people say it is, at least not that I have seen. I am not in the position this woman is. I will adjust my views accordingly.

  33. Thank you for such an eloquently written post. We are watching the horror unfold in the US on our TV screens from our home in New Zealand wondering what on earth we can do to help. We can, and will be, as a family, teaching our son to love and respect all people no matter their race, religion or sexual orientation. People are people after all. Much love to everyone in the US affected by these tragedies. May there be peace and healing for all and a qwellung of the hatred we see entrenched in so many in society.

  34. I am in a relationship with a black man. I always get asked, “why aren’t you dating a white guy? It would be better for you.” or “does he have a record?” or my favorite “what does he really want from you?” All of these have come from family members. We both come from an area that frowns on interracial relationships. Once, he was pulled over…I don’t remember the reason…and after the officer asked for his license, he asked me, “Ma’am are you with him against your will?” The question shoked me. I am 22 and he is 33. Sometimes I look really young but not that young. But blatantly, because I was white, I was asked this question.
    It disturbs me sometimes and it is hard not to hear what people say. It is hard to hear my lover distressed because he wants to know how to protect his son and daughter (not my children…he is divorced). He wants to make sure he comes home to us. It scares both of us because we want to have a child one day but we don’t want our child to live in fear. We don’t want his children to live in fear.

  35. The way I see it, there are problems on both sides, really. It looks like from the experiences posted here that the African American community is no more accepting of interracial families than you say the white community is. Yet white people get blasted for racism far more often – so there’s not much fairness on either side of the fence when you come right down to it. I see your point, and I’m sorry your husband feels like he’s always got a target on his back. I don’t think most people are that way on purpose, sometimes they are just thoughtless. They haven’t been in the same position and have no idea. Or else as a policeman, when the majority of the calls you take involve people of another race who refuse to obey the law, it is understandable you’re going to be a little more cautious, based on your experience. Maybe not very fair, but understandable. Either way, a lot of forgiveness and burying the hatchet is what’s needed. And people don’t want to do that. If they can use color or socioeconomic status, or bad childhood or whatever as an excuse, then they can feel justified in their position and refusal to see things any differently. It’s easier to blame things on someone else, because it (we think) absolves us from any personal responsibility for our own life choices. It’s time for people of all races to own their part and decide to be better and do better. Unless we can find a way past this, on both sides, we don’t need to worry about terrorists, ISIS, or Al-Quaeda. We will effectively destroy our country from within through suspicion, distrust, anger and hatred.

    1. I absolutely agree with this. It’s been my experience both before this article and afterwards that the hate and anger and fear and more comes from both sides. I appreciate you noticing that because that is absolutely the point and I never meant for it to sound like it all comes from the white race because it absolutely doesn’t which is obvious by some of the sad comments that some have chosen to leave here that show both sides. Thank you for this. 🙂

  36. About 20 years ago we were vacationing in Bethany Beach, Delaware with a biracial couple. One evening she wanted to go for a walk along the shore, even though it was marked “Beach closed after dark”. I remember her husband firmly refusing her repeated requests, finally saying, “I’m a black man, honey. It wouldn’t be safe for ME to get caught breaking the law, no matter how trivial it might seem to you.”

  37. You are almost there. You have a beautiful family and I know your writing comes from the heart. Thank you for making yourself vulnerable by putting a very honest opinion about how you feel about what’s going on in the world respect to your family. I rarely make comments because it often falls on deaf ears, but something in your article touched me that you are sincere and that you want a better world for your sons. And that you are open to learn more to be better advocates for them. I offer 4 books for you to read to better understand where your husband is coming from, to better prepare you for what your sons may experience, and to better prepare you for future conversations. in this order consider reading:

    “The Souls of Black Folks” by W.E.B. Du Bois
    “The Fire Next Time” James Baldwin
    “Black Boy” Richard Wright”
    “Invisible Man” Ralph Ellison

    All of these are older books, but I think you will find them very timely.
    I wish so many wonderful things for you and your family. May you always know peace.

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